Constructing meaning through multiple sign systems: Literacy in the lives of Lakota and Dakota young adolescents
AuthorNoll, Elizabeth Kellar.
KeywordsTeton Indians -- Education.
Dakota Indians -- Education.
Teton Indians -- Language.
Dakota Indians -- Language.
Committee ChairFox, Dana L.
Goodman, Kenneth S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to explore the roles and uses of multiple literacies in the lives of four Lakota and Dakota (Sioux) young adolescents who live and attend school in a predominantly white community in southeastern South Dakota. Significant to this research is a focus on the perceptions of the participants themselves about their literacy experiences both in and out of school. In addition to describing the participants' uses of reading and writing, this study examines the ways in which they construct meaning through other sign systems such as visual art, music, and movement or dance. As ethnographic case study research, this investigation employs data collection techniques such as participant and non-participant observation, use of fieldnotes, in-depth interviewing, and sampling of literacy artifacts. Also reflective of ethnographic research, this study is developed within historical and sociocultural frameworks. In the review of literature and in the collection of data, the influences of different cultures--American Indian cultures, mainstream culture, school culture, and popular culture--are examined to understand their impact on the participants' transactions with literacy. The findings of this study indicate that the participants' uses of literacy reflect the needs and/or issues that are most central in their lives. Most significantly, the participants use literacy to explore and express their self-identity and to examine issues, such as prejudice, racism, and discrimination, that are critical to them. Another important finding of this study is that the participants possess literacy strengths and knowledge that are not fully revealed within the school setting.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture